Sub-fifty days until Bloodstock. Repeat: SUB-FIFTY DAYS ‘TIL BLOODSTOCK.
Friday sees the addition of Cornish hard rockers Loft. Now, the only vaguely progressive thing about my loft is the mould and similarly, the ubiquitous term appears to have been misapplied to this bunch also. The quintet deal in pretty standard classic rock/soft metal; but despite some ace riffs, they don’t quite play a winning hand. Easy, early morning head-nodding stuff regardless.
If you can’t wait for your clean-chorus fix from Friday head-liners Trivium, then there’s always kiddy-metallers – sorry, Kidderminster-metallers XVII warming-up the New Blood Stage on day one with their sharp guitared, verging on incited, metalcore. Not overly offensive in a good or bad way and sure to suit any enthusiastic pit-hopefuls.
Providing a more mature sound, King Leviathan deliver a blast of heavy thrash, altering between more full-bodied clean vocals and guttural screams. The band’s sound is somewhere beyond their ‘thrash’ tag however, featuring occult-inspired moments of quasi-atmospheric slower tempos and group vocals, illustrated visually in their budget black metal image…
Bringing a more hard hitting classic thrash attack, Blackened Ritual will surely encourage some circle-pit related damage to the grass front-of-stage having already proved themselves a force to be reckoned with amidst the Scottish metal scene. Fast-paced, incisive guitars and imposing vocals: they’ve got the thrash template down, all that’s left is for Blackened Ritual to find that extra ammunition that’ll fire them straight to the main stage in years to come.
Bolstering the brutality on Saturday, Belfast death purists Overoth carve a heavy slab of no frills death metal, skewing the overly technical trend in favour of a raw sound punctuated with modern precision. Taking the heavy up another notch, self-coined “aggrohardcoresludge” band Mastiff are an altogether different entity, swapping precision for reverb and the death onslaught for lumbering sludge riffs, clawing more towards grim and foreboding drone/doom territory than sludgey groove. Delightfully unpleasant and with any luck at odds with the weather.
Already boasting a considerable testosterone-fuelled following, beer-swigging and big-riffing rising UK act Obey join the Sunday line-up. Taking cue from the likes of Pantera and Clutch, Obey take the hard rock song approach while adding a couple tonnes of heavy. Nothing ground breaking, but certainly something a bit more accessible to break-up the blastbeats.
Possibly the most promising prospect of this New Blood announcement are Norway’s uncompromising Incipit. Despite only cementing their current line-up in late 2014, their rapid blackened death sounds not only honed but adeptly nuanced with evil, melodic atmosphere.
Last but not least, another bunch of old-school thrashers – not to be confused with literal old-school thrashers RE-Animator on Friday – Ireland’s Animator complete the announcement. On first listen all the right ingredients are there, in particular the classic thrash semi-sung bark, but frustratingly the agitated immediacy doesn’t quite spill-out the speakers. That said, it’s still thrash and it’s still in your face, so really you can’t go far wrong – fingers-crossed for a blistering live performance.
49 days and counting…